Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Aker Solutions Wins Carbon Capture Study Contracts From Yara and Norcem - 26/04/2017

Aker Solutions Wins Carbon Capture Study Contracts From Yara and Norcem

Aker Solutions won strategically important contracts for concept studies for carbon capture at Yara's ammonia plant on Her√łya and Norcem's cement production facility in Brevik, Norway.

Norcem and Yara are among three companies in the running to receive funding from the Norwegian government to build and operate a full-scale carbon capture plant at their respective facilities. The government aims to fund at least one of the plants, which would be operational by 2022.

"Perfecting carbon capture will be key to meeting global climate goals," said Luis Araujo, chief executive officer at Aker Solutions. "The confidence placed in us by both Yara and Norcem shows we are taking a leading role in this crucial technological push."     

Aker Solutions has previously carried out extensive testing with a pilot capture plant at the factory in Brevik. The results were so promising that Norcem selected Aker Solutions' technology to be used for a potential facility at the cement factory in Southeast Norway.

The study for Norcem will design a carbon capture plant that's integrated with the cement factory, including a process to turn the CO2 into liquid and storage facilities that can be used before shipping. The plant will have a capacity of about 400,000 tons of CO2 a year. The Yara study will design and develop a capture plant for the reformer flue gas and will also include liquefaction. Both concept studies are set to be completed in September this year.

Norway's Gassnova last week announced the kick-off of the concept studies as part of a goal to establish a complete carbon capture and storage (CCS) chain, including capture, transport and permanent storage, by 2022. The concept phase will also seek to establish more accurate cost estimates. The next phase in the process will involve front-end engineering design (FEED) work until around mid-2018 before an investment decision is made by the Norwegian government in the first half of 2019.

Aker Solutions has since 2008 developed and qualified an improved carbon capture technology, investing extensively in research and development, testing and operations. The company has gathered experience through design, construction and two years of operations of the amine plant at Technology Centre Mongstad and carried out extensive tests in the U.S., the UK and Norway using its mobile carbon capture pilot plant. The Paris climate agreement has spurred increased international interest from several industries, including ammonia and cement production.

"Aker Solutions can now offer carbon capture plants at lower costs and with less energy demand using a new non-corrosive and environmentally-friendly solvent that has very low degradation," said Oscar Graff, who heads Aker Solutions' CCS efforts. "The solvent is very robust and can be used for various types of flue gases and gives minimum emissions and waste products."

80:20 welcomes new Director - 26/04/2017

80:20 welcomes new Director

Procurement specialist 80:20, a Peterson company, is pleased to announce the appointment of Kirk Hoffman as Director for the Americas region.

Based in 80:20’s Houston offices, Kirk is looking to expand the company’s offering in Central and South America as part of his role.

Kirk joins the 80:20 team from Rowan Companies, where he was Director of Logistics. He has previously held posts as Head of Americas for Hansa Heavy Lift, and Chief Supply Chain Officer for Helix Energy Solutions Group and brings with him extensive knowledge of the field as well as an appetite to find improved efficiencies across the supply chain.

Kirk’s business background is also supported by his career in the United States Coast Guard, where he served as an officer for nine years.

Coming out of in-house supply chain leadership roles, Kirk can see the benefit that outsourced procurement can provide companies. 

He explained: “I am delighted to be joining 80:20. The business’ ethos means we meet new challenges with enthusiasm and that is contagious.

“80:20 gladly takes reasonable risk away from the client, and absorb and manage it, so that clients can focus on what they do best. Our client’s success is our success.”

Kirk is confident that the procurement company can relieve the pressure on supply chain groups by taking on much of the higher volume, lower value spend, and deliver it at better prices, passing on cost savings and increased efficiencies to the energy industry.

He added: “80:20’s entrepreneurial spirit and lack of bureaucracy makes it easy to make improvements and deliver value for our clients.  We must save our clients’ money and deliver on our promises.”

80:20 will also handle the receiving, inspection, OS&D, and delivery functions, which are often regarded as major burdens on a supply chain group.  The procurement work carried out is completed with a lower administrative burden and reduced risk than if clients were doing it in-house. 

Kirk explained, “With the supply chain group letting us handle the daily issues, they can then focus on the high value, highly technical, mission critical items that they should be focused on. 

“It is important to note that we are not seeking to take anyone’s job.  We are seeking to free up supply chain personnel to focus on the big tasks while we manage the other tasks.” 

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

StocExpo Europe 2017 Hailed a Major Success - 12/04/2017

StocExpo Europe 2017 Hailed a Major Success

StocExpo Europe 2017, the world’s leading international event for the tank terminal industry, celebrated a triumphant return to Rotterdam last month. The show, which successfully launched the inaugural Tank Storage Awards, and unveiled a brand-new conference format, has been hailed a massive success, with an 8 per cent increase in visitor numbers since the 2016 edition in Antwerp.

Nick Powell, Divisional Director for the Easyfairs StocExpo &Tank Storage Portfolio, commented: “What a show. It doesn’t seem possible to have fitted so much into just three days, but somehow, we managed it. By every measure, we had our most successful show to date. We increased visitor numbers, featured over 200 internationally renowned suppliers, hosted over 16 hours of educational content in our revamped conference programme, and had nearly two thirds of exhibitors rebook for next year. I am thrilled with the level of interest from the industry, and the obvious desire for a show like this. We now move onto Dubai for StocExpo Middle East Africa where we expect to see the same level of success.”   

Delegates were treated to a new conference format designed to boost networking. All sessions started with ‘speed networking’, maximising networking opportunities with industry peers. On top of this it featured seven expert panel sessions, hosting over 30 speakers from oil majors, tank terminals and financial institutions. Speaker, Luis Sala, Managing Director at TEPSA, commented on the new conference format: “It is the best programme in Europe focussed on the terminal business.”

Visitors to the Ahoy, Rotterdam, were provided with unique access to over 200 leading suppliers, partners and industry associations, spanning the entire bulk liquid spectrum. With nearly 50 per cent of the showfloor launching new products to the market, there was plenty to see and discuss. The show also introduced a new smart badge system, which enabled visitors to register their interest in an exhibitor’s stand, and then receive a summary email at the end of each day with links to the products and services, thus eliminating the need to carry around heavy brochures.

Visitor, Tony Woodward, Operations Manager at Oikos Storage Limited, explained why he felt the 2017 edition of StocExpo Europe was such a triumph: “It was a well organised event, and the new ‘smart badge’ touch and go system is excellent. The conference was very good, and the venue has great facilities.”

Alwin Held, CEO at Tripl-A Projects, agreed: “I support start-ups in the tank industry and search for innovative ideas. StocExpo Europe was a good show and great for networking.”

The inaugural Global Tank Storage Awards ceremony was held at the end of day two of the show, taking place at the Floating Pavilion. It celebrated the achievements of terminal operators, ports, equipment suppliers and individuals making a difference in the bulk liquid sector. Loadtec Engineered Systems took home ‘Best Technology Provider’, LBC Cepsa won ‘Most Efficient Storage Terminal’, ‘Individual Achievement’ went to Ellen Ruhotas, Managing Director at Ratio Group, and Elios by Flyability was crowned ‘Most Innovative Technology’.

The sold-out ceremony and gala dinner has received critical acclaim from its 180 attendees. Thomas Overbeck, CEO at Timm Elektronik, praised the debut Awards, saying: “Professional organisation, a knowledgeable audience and highly qualified judges made this event high scale, and gave the award winners good recognition and broad acceptance for their individual products and performances. It was an impressive event.”

Other show floor activity included the ‘Best in Show’ awards, designed to recognise StocExpo Europe exhibitors. It saw Agidens pick up the award for Best Stand, Emerson Automation Solutions collect the award for Best Entertainment for their Easter chicken themed party, whilst Implico was selected for Best Pre-Show Marketing Campaign.

Exhibitor, John Delaney, VP at CST Covers, commented on his company’s show experience. “StocExpo Europe had good attendees, with meaningful questions and a genuine interest. It was successful for us, as we have some great meetings and interest out of it.”

Sonia Grijpstra-Muir, Owner at Ragworm by Jetset Hydro International, agreed: “StocExpo Europe 2017 proved yet again to be worthwhile exhibiting at. New connections were made, so compliments to the organisers. See you all next year!”

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Energean signs Concession Contract for two offshore blocks, Montenegro - 15/03/2017

Energean signs Concession Contract for two offshore blocks, Montenegro

Energean Oil & Gas (“Energean") is pleased to announce that it has signed an exploration and production Concession Contract with the State of Montenegro covering offshore blocks 4219-26 and 4218-30, following approval from the Parliament of Montenegro. The contract was signed by Mrs. Dragica Sekulic, Montenegro’s Minister of Economy, and Mathios Rigas, Chairman and CEO of Energean Group, at a ceremony held earlier today in Podgorica.

Total investment over an exploration period of seven years will be US$ 19 million, including the funding of a new 3D seismic survey, geophysical and geological studies, and the drilling of one well. The two blocks are located offshore at a water depth of 50-100 meters, close to the Montenegrin coast in the vicinity of the town of Bar. Energean plans to begin the 3D seismic acquisition during the first quarter of 2018.

The Eastern Adriatic has been substantially underexplored to date, despite having similar geology to the wider Adriatic Zone, which is well known for its prolific hydrocarbon systems in Italy, Albania and Croatia, and has been a significant oil and gas producing region for over 50 years. This latest announcement further underpins Energean’s commitment to seeking to open up the oil and gas opportunities in this highly promising territory.

Energean Group Chairman & CEO, Mr. Mathios Rigas, commented:

“I am delighted to sign this Concession Contract, which marks a significant day for Energean and our continued growth, as we enter the highly promising Adriatic region. Whilst a number of major oil and gas companies left the area during the period of sustained low oil prices, Energean remained committed to pursuing the development of the region, and is now extremely well placed to take advantage of this commitment and focus.    

“We believe the geology to be similar to that in Western Greece, where we have been exploring since 2014 (onshore Ioannina), have a Field Development Plan in progress offshore West Katakolo, and are ready to sign a new contract for a further block (onshore Aitoloakarnania). 

“Furthermore, our strong track record of operating in environmentally sensitive areas, successfully operating the Prinos oil field in Northeastern Greece, which has been producing oil since 1981, ideally places us to drive through this project for the benefit of the local economy and Montenegrin people.”

Thursday, 9 March 2017

Digitalization helps companies thrive in ‘new normal’ of low oil prices - 09/03/2017

Digitalization helps companies thrive in ‘new normal’ of low oil prices

ABB shows how digitalization can transform oil, gas and chemical operations, bringing greater profitability in tough times.

ABB today releases a white paper detailing how existing market dynamics and challenges are forcing a massive change in the oil, gas and chemical (OGC) industries’ approach to technology. Quoting from a range of independent sources, ABB believes that the current downturn is a forewarning of a new status quo to which industry players must adapt. 

“Despite heavy cost-cutting by way of rig shutdowns and headcount reductions, operational savings have only clawed back a modest amount of losses triggered by the oil price crash,” says Per-Erik Holsten, managing director, oil, gas and chemicals business unit, ABB. “Reports  we’ve seen suggest that only 23% of revenue losses have been offset by cuts in OPEX .”

ABB identifies four key tenets which OGC executives are encouraged to embrace in order to optimize performance and ensure long-term viability:
- Deploying enterprise-wide digitalization and connectivity

- Bringing together information and operational technologies

- Pursuing simplification and standardization wherever feasible

- Having CEO leadership and sponsorship of a digitally-focused approach.

“Network-connected assets can significantly reduce costs, shorten schedules and minimize risk,” says Holsten. “Because we embrace all aspects of electrical, instrumentation, control and  telecoms, we are the only major player able to help customers achieve a completely integrated and digital performance-enhancing solution. In fact, we’ve demonstrated time and again our ability to deliver 20 to 30 percent CAPEX and OPEX savings while simultaneously improving uptime and extending asset lifetimes by 20 years.” 

Continues Holsten, “Our approach to digitalization works, and this white paper shares what works and how it works to a wider audience.”

The implications for each segment –upstream, midstream and downstream– and a roadmap for creating a fully digitalized hydrocarbon value chain is presented for both greenfield and brownfield situations. Case studies are also provided. 

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Penspen awarded PIMS extension for Chilean mine - 22/02/2017

Penspen awarded PIMS extension for Chilean mine

Penspen, a leading global provider of engineering and project management services to the energy industry, has been awarded a nine-month contract extension to provide pipeline integrity management systems (PIMS) for Chile’s Minera Los Pelambres copper mine, the fifth largest in the world, by Antofagasta Minerals.

Penspen was first employed to work on the project - located at 3,600m above sea level in the Andes Mountains and 200km north of Santiago de Chile - in 2010, when it conducted a gap analysis.  Two years later, it developed a PIMS, corrosion management system, risk assessment and risk based inspection (RBI) and began providing specialist training for operations and maintenance staff at the mine.  In 2014, Penspen implemented its PIMS and corrosion management system.  It also introduced emergency plans, technical notes, a RBI update and provided in-line inspection support.

With this latest contract extension, Penspen will continue with the implementation of the PIMS and will provide additional technical assistance.

The work undertaken by Penspen will minimise the probability and consequences of failure to the 320km pipeline, which transports fluids from the mine.  

Penspen’s Carl Mook, ‎EVP Americas, said: “This contract extension win marks the continuation of a great partnership between Antofagasta Minerals and Penspen.

This is a really interesting project due to its mountain location and the different geological and technical challenges that may arise. I am delighted that Penspen can both continue to support the project with our PIMS, and provide staff at the mine with the requisite training to ensure the continued health and longevity of the pipelines.”

Ignacio Rivera, Penspen’s General Manager Asset Integrity, Chile, added:

“I am immensely proud of the work which Penspen’s mining team has undertaken.  It is because of their exceptional work ethic and dedication that we have secured this extension to the contract.”

The Minera Los Pelambres project was the first mining-related venture for Penspen, but the company has since undertaken a number of mining projects across Chile and Peru, as more businesses realise the potential of using pipelines to transport minerals and associated products.

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Getting on the Same Page in Process Safety - 21/02/2017

Getting on the Same Page in Process Safety

On day one of the StocExpo Europe 2017 Conference, Ian Travers, Principal Consultant (Process Safety), will look at how to see through the complexity and technical jargon that surrounds process safety in many organisations to just focus on the most important issues in the prevention of a catastrophic incident. Here he provides a taster of his talk:
In catastrophic risk management the hazardous properties of materials, substances and energy never take any time off to allow us to figure out how to contain and manage the associated risks. We fully know how to effectively manage such risks through a system known as process safety management. So why do major catastrophic accidents keep occurring? Such events don’t usually occur because of a blatant disregard for safety precautions; especially as many who bear the full impact are the front-line workers who are so frequently blamed as the cause for not following the rules or procedures. 

Understand and Describe Risk in Plain Language  
The answer lies in the education and understanding of major hazard risks and in presenting the concepts of process safety management in plain and simple terms for all those involved. Delivering safety and environmental protection involves people at all levels within an organisation and is not just the responsibility of a small dedicated professional team. We all have to ‘Get on the Same Page’ and get involved in the same way, because the hazards are always present, no matter how inconvenient for us. Confusion, misunderstanding and misaligned priorities can all lead to catastrophic consequences. 

The term process safety does not conjure up a shared understanding. It has tended to be the preserve of safety professionals and engineers who frequently describe this aspect of risk management in complex language; using phrases such as safety barriers, bow ties, as low as reasonably practicable, ALARP, SFIRP, Safety Integrity Level, SIL, HAZOP, HAZID and more.

No wonder that ordinary workers and senior executives lose interest within the first few minutes into a discussion. A simpler, plain language approach is needed.

Simple Questions 
The way to manage catastrophic risks can be broken down into simpler solutions, agreed and communicated throughout an organisation: 
How could it go catastrophically wrong? – Hazard Identification.
Where/when will the process most likely go wrong and what will the consequences be? 
What controls or systems are there to prevent a major accident or to limit escalation? – 
Which of these are most vulnerable to failure?
What information is available to show these control systems continue to operate to the desired performance standard? 

Driven from the Top 
Implementing and maintaining a process safety management system does not occur spontaneously. It has to be driven and led by senior executives from Board level down through the organisation. Strong process safety leadership is required.

Controls need to fit the Risk like a Glove 
Unfortunately, there is no ‘one size fits all’ solution to the control and mitigation measures required to prevent the catastrophic failure of plant and its equipment. Controls have to be closely tailored to the risks, the way the plant or equipment could fail, and the profile of the organisation. If key measures are missed a major hazard challenge might not be effectively controlled. Overdoing it will lead to ‘gold plating’, incurring unnecessary expense in design and operation.

A great deal of thought and effort is required to design and implement the right system, tailored to the risk profile of the organisation. 

But then it all Goes Wrong from Day One 
Most effort and resource is applied during the design and implementation stage, and subsequently the system is expected to run without failure – like a modern high-tech automobile. 

Unfortunately, systems of control start to deteriorate immediately they are implemented. This is mainly due to modification and change, but also human ingenuity to work outside documented procedures and systems to get the job done, save time and improve performance. This endeavour is to be welcomed provided that control of major hazards is not degraded.

Regrettably, many well-meaning employees have not been involved in the system design or had the relevance of the procedure properly explained to them. Most people have no concept of the hazard, let alone of process safety risk. 

Get on the Same Page 
Use plain language – after all people ‘do’ safety not systems. My proposal for everyone involved in major hazard risks is to ‘get on the same page’. This ensures that everyone working at such risk fully understands the hazards they are exposed to, and accepts the associated control measures and procedures. A degree of differentiation and visibility is also required against a backdrop of ‘proceduralisation’ of business activities.

Cover Asset management at the Same Time and Stay in Business 
The good news is that effective asset management and good process safety management are one and the same thing. Both aimed at effective containment of hazardous substances or energy, and both rely on accurate information on the status of the plant, process conditions and of control systems. 

Knowledge and understanding of how such systems degrade and fail is essential. Get this combination of asset management and process safety right and not only will the plant be safe but it can be run efficiency, with costly activities, such as maintenance, being precisely targeted to avoid unnecessary expense. Achieving this goal of safe operation, reliable plant and reduced operational costs is now well understood, and has been increasingly the practice of high reliability organisations. They can operate with a ‘no surprises’ asset performance through effective KPIs and positive confirmation that critical safety systems, including human performance, are intact and delivering the desired safety outcomes. 

High Reliability and No Surprises 
High reliability major hazard business can be readily achieved through simplifying and demystifying process safety management; engaging everyone within a high hazard organisation by using common plain language descriptions of risks and control measures so that the importance of critical procedures and control measures are distinguished from other activities, understood and accepted. Make risks and performance of critical control measures visible and describe them using simple language. Undertake this alongside an integrated asset management programme and a highly effective, reliable and profitable business will be achieved.

Ian Travers is one of 30 world-leading experts speaking at StocExpo Europe 2017. The show also features a packed exhibition hall, with over 200 suppliers from across the globe. For more information on visiting the exhibition, booking as a delegate for the conference or becoming a media partner, please call +44 (0)20 8843 8800 or visit the event website.

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Kvaerner ASA: 4th quarter 2016 - Solid results through predictable project execution - 15/02/2017

Kvaerner ASA: 4th quarter 2016 - Solid results through predictable project execution

Solid results through predictable project execution. Kvaerner delivered an adjusted EBITDA of NOK 219 million in the fourth quarter, and NOK 680 million for 2016. "Predictable project execution coupled with cost reductions and productivity improvements continue to be the key drivers behind our strong performance," says Kvaerner's President & CEO Jan Arve Haugan.

Kvaerner delivered solid operational performance in fourth quarter, driven by successful execution and completion of milestones in the projects. The effect of better performance and improved project-portfolio mix has resulted in a higher margin compared to last year.

In the fourth quarter 2016, total revenues, including jointly controlled entities (Field Development segment), amounted to NOK 2 378 million, compared to NOK 3 334 million in the fourth quarter last year. Adjusted EBITDA, including jointly controlled entities, ended at NOK 232 million (9.7 percent EBITDA margin), up from NOK 202 million (6.1 percent EBITDA margin) in the corresponding quarter in 2015. Net cash inflow from operating activities was NOK 244 million in fourth quarter.

"During one and the same week in December, we flawlessly executed three very well planned, major operations. Common for all three - Hebron GBS, Njord A and the Johan Sverdrup riser platform jacket - was extremely high precision and safe execution. Delivery of such important parts of the complex projects predictably is the best possible marketing for new contracts," says Jan Arve Haugan.

Order intake in the fourth quarter was NOK 768 million. Per 31 December 2016, Kvaerner's order backlog, including Kvaerner's scope of work of jointly controlled entities, was NOK 6 459 million, down from NOK 8 397 million at the end of the third quarter.

"From 2014 to 2016, we improved our cost base for new projects with about 15 to 20 percent. From 2016 and into 2017, we continue the improvements. Our ambition is that we for new topside bids in 2017 have a cost base which is 20 to 25 percent lower than what we had three years ago. We see some important upcoming prospects in the market. The reduced cost base combined with a predictable delivery model will enhance our competitive position and should be seen as a strong enabler to increase our order book," says Jan Arve Haugan.

Subsequent to the quarter, Kvaerner has been awarded a NOK 450 million contract for offshore hook-up of the Johan Sverdrup riser platform, plus a NOK 200 million decommissioning contract.

Full year 2016 results
Total operating revenues, including jointly controlled entities, were NOK 10 364 for the full year 2016, compared with NOK 14 917 in 2015. EBITDA, including jointly controlled entities, ended at NOK 741 million for the full year 2016 (EBITDA margin 7.1 percent), up from NOK 613 million for the full year 2015 (EBITDA margin: 4.1 percent). At the end of the year, Kvaerner's credit facilities were undrawn and net cash was NOK 3 billion.

The Board of Directors has proposed no dividend distribution for second half of 2016. A robust balance sheet and cash position is important to maintain resilience through the challenging cycle and it should support the ambition to come out of the period with an even stronger business. The solid financial position is a competitive lever when positioning for new contracts. It also provides flexibility to pursue selected opportunities for strategic development.

Peterson obtains ISO 50001 Energy Management Standard - 15/02/2017

Peterson obtains ISO 50001 Energy Management Standard

International energy logistics provider Peterson is proud to have obtained the Energy Management Standard ISO 50001 for the Offshore Group entities in the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Malta and Trinidad & Tobago.

ISO 50001:2011 provides a framework of requirements for organisations to develop a policy for more efficient use of energy, fix targets and objectives to meet the policy and values, use data to better understand and make decisions about energy use, measure the results, review how well the policy works, and continually improve energy performance.  

Erwin Kooij, CEO, Peterson Offshore Group, said: “We have achieved the ISO 50001 standard which is a great addition to our company besides ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001. However, even more important to our company is that we now have an even better tool to reduce our environmental impact and energy cost. Looking after this planet for ourselves and generations to come is vital to our company as we think in generations and not quarters.”

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Independent Growth Finance delivers £3m facility to EPI Group - 17/01/2017

Independent Growth Finance delivers £3m facility to EPI Group

IGF, the leading commercial finance provider for SMEs, has provided a £3 million confidential invoice discounting facility to oil and gas exploration consultancy firm, EPI Group.

This facility enables EPI to implement its diversification strategy into new services alongside its continuing geographical expansion.

EPI has 30 years’ experience in delivering exploration and production consultancy services to the oil and gas industry, supporting clients with their seismic surveys, environmental projects and wellsite operations. Headquartered in the UK, it has offices in the US, Australia, Russia, France, Ghana and South America.

Through the recent acquisition of geoscience consultancy, P.D.F. Limited, EPI has further developed its scope for supporting clients’ exploration and development programmes.  This facility will therefore also provide working capital to support the anticipated growth across the newly combined organisation.

Alan Austin, ABL Director, London and South East at IGF, said: “EPI plays a vital role in the oil and gas services industry across the UK and abroad.  With clear opportunities post-acquisition, we are proud to support the firm’s future growth.”

Richard Bradley, CFO of EPI Group, said: “The fall in oil prices has put pressure on many companies across our sector, but we have continued to invest responsibly in our platform to best position the business for improving market conditions.  We are delighted to have secured this facility from IGF to provide funding for further diversification and expansion of our business.  IGF’s experience, flexibility and like-mindedness demonstrated to us that they were the right partner for EPI.”

This deal comes as the latest in a string of partnerships from Independent Growth Finance, which is rapidly increasing its reach amongst businesses across the UK.

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

First Rigs to Arrive for Decommissioning in Great Yarmouth - 11/01/2017

First Rigs to Arrive for Decommissioning in Great Yarmouth

The Veolia-Peterson partnership has been awarded two platform decommissioning contracts for recycling at their facility in Great Yarmouth. With an aim of reaching 96% recycling rates the work to recycle materials and assets is expected to begin in spring 2017 when the platforms arrive onshore. 

The contracts include the onshore receipt and disposal of offshore materials and several assets for a major gas producer. The work will cover disposal options for a number of production complex platforms, and surrounding satellite platforms, located around 40 miles off the coast of Great Yarmouth. Recycling is expected to start this year and will take around four years to complete.

Recovering these platforms at the end of their operational life is essential. Now using the new facilities the valuable materials that they contain can be carefully captured and returned to industry for re-use, and where possible assets that have further operational life can be sold. This, in turn, helps boost the sustainability of the industry and becomes part of the circular economy.

Simon Davies, Decommissioning General Manager of Veolia said: “The industry has been looking for collaboration and these new contracts show collaboration in action right down the supply chain. Our partnership has worked well at a number of sites and projects over the last ten years, and we are very pleased to secure the first important contracts into Great Yarmouth.”

Ron van der Laan, Regional Director, Peterson added: “We have been working hard on this development since 2013. These contract awards are a significant milestone and step towards establishing Great Yarmouth as a centre of excellence for decommissioning in the Southern North Sea”.

Formalised in 2015 Veolia-Peterson is a joint venture that has been providing onshore decommissioning services for over 10 years. Set up to cover the full decommissioning of platforms the services include decontamination, deconstruction, waste management and environmental services together with associated integrated logistics, marine and quayside services. To date the joint venture has recovered over 80,000 tonnes of offshore materials and achieved ‘excellent’ environmental assessment ratings in the process.

Developed as part of the partnership between Peterson and Veolia, and supported by Peel Ports Great Yarmouth, Local Enterprise Partnership, Great Yarmouth Borough Council and Norfolk County Council the new decommissioning site at Great Yarmouth Outer Harbour has been selected to receive the structures. The new works will help create approximately 10 new jobs for Veolia Peterson, with further development and employment as the projects develop. The partnership’s aim is to establish Great Yarmouth as the SNS centre for decommissioning, and to further expand the facilities to meet the growing need for this type of decommissioning.

The Importance Of Oil Sampling - 11/01/2017

The Importance Of Oil Sampling

Sampling oil correctly and regularly can help highlight potential problems in off-highway vehicles before they become serious, said a technical expert from a leading lubricant manufacturer.

Andy Brown, of FUCHS LUBRICANTS, said sampling can help reduce costs by unearthing issues with a vehicle before it breaks down completely, therefore minimising downtime.

But Andy warned that oil samples must be taken correctly in order to produce the most accurate results.

FUCHS LUBRICANTS offers the CENT sampling service to its customers, producing clear, precise feedback in the form of graphs and reports along with suggestions for remedial action.

The state-of-the-art production management tool indicates wear trends, additive levels and sources of contamination.

In 2016, FUCHS carried out around 27,000 sampling reports from across all industry sectors the company is involved in. Many of those reports were for off-highway vehicles.

Andy said: “If you examine the condition of the oil through sampling, you can see problems before they escalate and become bigger issues.

“Customers send the sample to us and we look at viscosity, additive levels, wear levels, oxidation, and contaminants such as coolant ingress, dirt ingress and soot levels. All of these things can tell us the condition of the oil and the condition of the engine, gear box or hydraulic system.

“When samples are taken over a period of time, you can start to trend results and see things like bearing wear, cylinder wear, and coolant contamination. For example, if there is a lot of dirt in the oil maybe the air filter hasn’t been changed, or perhaps they’ve got a split somewhere in the air in-take system.

“It’s a powerful tool because downtime can be so costly. You can spot a problem and replace something for a nominal amount rather than leaving it and having catastrophic problems.

“Off-highway vehicles need to be ready to use when you need them otherwise you run the risk of costly downtime.”

Andy said that it is absolutely crucial that samples are taken properly.

He said: “The way sampling is done is massively important and it’s the bit that everyone gets wrong.

“I remember an occasion when a bus company was extremely concerned that their vehicles were generating excess soot out of the exhaust.

“We carried out extensive analysis on samples they gave us which confirmed their initial fears and there was a major investigation involving the engine manufacturer, the bus manufacturer and the filter manufacturers. 

“I asked the bus company how they had taken their samples and they had no idea.

“It transpired that the samples had been taken after a weekend when the buses had stood idle and were cold. The engineer had opened the sump and taken the first bit of oil that came out. This was the worst-case scenario as when oil has sat for three days, a lot of particulates will drop out and go to the bottom.

“You need to take a sample either when everything is running/circulating so nothing is dropping out, or as soon as possible after it is switched off.

In the case above, “When it was sampled properly, there was no soot in the oil so whatever had caused the problem, it was nothing to do with soot in the oil.

“It’s when and how you take the sample that is critical. The analysis side is easy but you can get completely the wrong answer if you haven’t sampled it right.”

Andy said that the sample taken needs to be representative of the rest of the oil.

Generally, this will be after it has passed through the engine but before it gets to the filter, the filter will remove contaminants.

A vampire pump can be used with a tube which is fed into the correct position.

Crucially, the same sampling technique must be used every time.

Andy added: “If you haven’t got a strategy of how to take samples and four or five people are doing it differently all the time, you’ll get the scattergun approach. One person is doing it one way, someone else a different way, sometimes in the evening, sometimes in the morning. You end up with a random set of results.

“If you’ve got a process but it’s not right, you can get some consistent results but they are actually wrong.

“Sampling is very much worth doing – and it’s worth doing right.”

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Add Energy scoops maintenance build contract with BP KLPG - 10/01/2017

Add Energy scoops maintenance build contract with BP KLPG

Add Energy, the international oil and gas upstream consultancy provider, has been awarded a contract worth £200,000 for work on BP’s Kinneil Liquid Petroleum Gas (KLPG) Chilldown Project located at its Refrigerated Liquid Petroleum Gas (RLPG) site in Grangemouth.

The contract will see Add Energy carry out the provision of a full maintenance build for the new KLPG plant. The scope of work includes an asset register validation and technical hierarchy build, equipment criticality assignments, development of maintenance strategies, procedures and job plans and a critical spares optimisation and bill of materials (BOM) development.

Peter Adam, Executive Vice President, Add Energy commented: “We are delighted to have been selected for this project by BP. As maintenance and reliability specialists, we have access to a team of 50 people who are subject matter experts in their own discipline.

“We have built a global library of maintenance strategies based on best practice and reliability data, which combined with lessons learnt from previous maintenance build contracts will support and enhance this project.  Add Energy is focused on supporting operators in getting best value for money and will continue to optimise maintenance expenditure for BP.

The RLPG plant at Grangemouth currently operates with R22, a colourless, refrigerant gas. EU legislation requires the replacement of R22 and R410a has been identified as a suitable more environmentally friendly and efficient alternative. Refrigeration is required to chill the Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) to enable storage and eventual transportation by ship to market. Without refrigeration, the Forties Pipeline System would be unable to operate.

Hook-up and commissioning of the plant is now well under way with the plant expected to be operational later this year.

Monday, 9 January 2017

Seatronics announce new partnership agreement with Force Technology - 09/01/2016

Seatronics announce new partnership agreement with Force Technology

Seatronics, an Acteon company and global leaders in the rental and sale of marine electronic equipment, has formed a new partnership agreement with Force Technology, an international technological consultancy company.

The new agreement will provide Seatronics’ global customer base with access to Force Technology’s Field Gradient Sensor (FiGS) system. FiGS is a non-contact CP inspection tool, and the only tool on the market of its kind. The FiGS system offers a step change in CP integrity as it detects coating damages on exposed and buried pipelines and structures, accurately measures anode performance and helps optimise CP retrofitting. The beneficial features of the FiGS offers substantial cost savings for the client as well as reducing inspection time. 

Phil Middleton, Group Managing Director, Seatronics, said: “We are delighted to have partnered with Force Technology and the FiGS system is a product which we are genuinely excited about.

“Seatronics has always been synonymous with the latest innovative technology and we are actively developing our portfolio of equipment, which can assist our clients in assessing the long term integrity of their assets. We feel the FiGS system is unmatched in this respect and look forward to working with Leiv and his team”.

Leiv Laate, Vice President, Force Technology, added: “We are happy to partner up with Seatronics, a leading player in the market, and we look forward to fruitful co-operation for years to come”

The FiGS system will be available for rental throughout Seatronics’ global bases in Aberdeen, Houston, Singapore and Abu Dhabi. 

Wednesday, 4 January 2017

ACE Winches celebrates a five star grading in the British Safety Council’s Five Star Occupational Health and Safety Audit - 04/01/2016

ACE Winches celebrates a five star grading in the British Safety Council’s Five Star Occupational Health and Safety Audit

ACE Winches is pleased to announce it has achieved a five star grading from its Five Star Occupational Health and Safety Audit conducted by the British Safety Council. ACE Winches underwent a detailed, quantified and objective evaluation of our occupational health and safety management system.

The audit measured our performance against a number of key safety management indicators and achieved the highest rating.

The British Safety Council’s Five Star Occupational Health and Safety Audit provides organisations with a worldwide benchmark of their safety management systems against current best practice to enable continual improvement. The Audit specification was revised in 2013 to include performance measurements in two additional safety management indicators (Leadership and Continuous Improvement) which are continually assessed, alongside other indicators, throughout the audit process.

Within the revised audit, the British Safety Council has placed a greater emphasis on the organisation’s approach to occupational health, employee wellbeing, safety culture, allocation of resources to health and safety and planning for change; all of which are considered important best practice factors.

Richard Wilson, Chief Operations Officer at ACE Winches said: “We're delighted to receive the accolade, which reflects our dedication to the health and safety of our staff and clients, it is a testimony to how we use ACE Focus to inspire our people to continuously improve in key areas of the business.  This award helps us to demonstrate to staff and customers our commitment to achieving and delivering world-class standards.”

He continued: “HSEQ is a one of the company’s core values and forms an integral part of our business strategy. HSEQ is paramount at ACE Winches and is at the heart of our business objectives.”